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Progress and gaps as Zimbabwe heads for elections
Election Support Network
November 30, 2012
ZESN held a
public meeting at the New Ambassador Hotel on the 28th of November
2012. The topic was "An analysis of the Electoral Reforms:
Progress and Gaps as we head for elections in 2013". There
were three speakers from different political parties namely Prof.
John Makumbe representing MDC-T, Ms. Shiriyedenga representing the
MDC, Mr. Goodson Nguni representing ZANU PF and the moderator was
Mr. Charles Mangongera.
were as follows:
- The speakers
highlighted that considerable electoral reforms have been adopted
but more could be done to have a conducive environment for elections
- Prof Makumbe
pointed out the numerous positive developments ushered in by the
These include the setting up and reviving of commissions and the
enactment of the Electoral
Amendment Act of 2012, the Human
Rights Act 2012, and a revived Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
He also noted that the presence of JOMIC was commendable, and
has led to the reduction of polarization among political parties
and their supporters and upheld the progress made on the COPAC
- Having noted
the progress made by the GNU in electoral reforms he highlighted
that there is still need for more media reforms as evidenced by
the polarisation in the local media. He further highlighted that
although the government had introduced a number of Commissions
these were incapacitated by the lack of adequate financing and
- On the issue
of elections in 2013, Prof Makumbe declared that it was not possible
to have them in March as numerous reforms had to be effected and
the last week of June would be more feasible to hold elections.
- Ms Ellen
Shiriyedenga, the Director of elections for the MDC led by Prof
Ncube, highlighted that the birth of the GNU was because of disputed
elections and as such it was a mandate for the GNU to ensure that
it created an environment which will have an undisputed election
- She agreed
that the Electoral Amendment Act 2012 contained considerable reforms
which include voter education provisions a clearer role of the
commission, among other provisions. On the issue of elections
she concurred with Prof Makumbe saying that March 2013 was not
feasible given the current political situation.
- She also
pointed that the Electoral Amendment Act had a code of conduct
for political parties which addressed issues of hate speech, violence
and this was commendable and urged parties to let this cascade
to provincial and district levels. She said the gaps on reforms
was on the relaxation of voter registration requirements as it
is simply a principle, the voters roll which is still in shambles
and the denial of Diaspora voting. She said the progress offered
a semblance of hope but more should be done for all this to be
implemented on the ground.
- Mr Goodson
Nguni represented ZANU PF and revealed that he wanted elections
as soon as yesterday as the GNU was not working. He said the present
environment is conducive to have elections, and questioned the
agenda of parties that want electoral reforms.
- He argued
that the calls for reforms to the media, the military and the
electoral landscape do not mean anything and that elections will
go ahead without the reforms.
The public urged
the political parties to look up to the Post-election period, as
this is the main concern of the citizens. A debate over the most
practical election date ensued with the different political parties
and the participants exchanging their views on Zimbabwe's
readiness for elections by March 2013.
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